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The Disciplinary Process at Year’s End -- Perception and Perspective

The next day, when I stopped in to wish Warden Brock a happy Christmas, he asked me my views of the previous day’s disciplinary hearing. He explained that the staff were so agitated by the lack of results that he felt he had to take some corrective action. He had sent a memo to Regional Headquarters, with a tape of the previous day’s proceedings, indicating the staff’s displeasure with the way disciplinary court was being handled by Mr. Walters. The staff sensed that the prisoners were laughing at them for having lost so many cases, he said. I offered my opinion that Mr. Walters’ decisions were justified on the evidence and that, in several cases, the institutional case was nonexistent.

My conversation with Warden Brock underlined how great a role perception plays whenever the correctional enterprise and its contending objectives are evaluated. A day of decision-making which, from my perspective, had been a model of due process of law was seen by staff and management at Matsqui as undermining institutional order.

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